Last chapter! I know it might seem sort of abrupt, but I've been working on this story for over a year, and it really wasn't supposed to be this long in the first place. It's really time to end it. Thank you to all my readers, thank you for sticking with me all this time.
And yes, I know Olivia is a little old to be pregnant, but we don't really have an exact age. Yes, she's over forty, but that's not that bad. My grandmother was 45 when she had my dad, my mom was almost forty when she had me… so yes, I realize that she's not exactly young, but she's put off starting a family in favor of her career, and now she's getting a chance at both. I apologize if that offends anyone.
Disclaimer: don't own
Five months later…
Olivia turned around, smile widening as she nodded. Cragen moved further into the room, unable to keep stop his own smile, or the few tears that escaped, as he observed the woman in front of him. Olivia was dressed simply, but elegantly, in a spaghetti strap, pleated white dress that accentuated her chest, flaring out from a knot settled right under her breasts, cutting off at the knees. Her shoes had barely any heel to them, and a short veil was attached to the barrette that effectively held half of her hair up in an uncomplicated hairdo.
Olivia had never been one to plan every wedding detail growing up; she had been more concerned with dealing with her mother. But she always knew she wanted to be married on a beach. She also knew she wanted it simple, and thankfully, Elliot had agreed; so with the exception of Chief Hamilton – who had insisted on an invitation, and neither detective was willing to defy him – the guests consisted only of those whom they considered family: Elliot's children, Fin, Munch, Cragen, Alex, Casey, and Melinda.
Olivia turned slightly, picking up her bouquet of lilies, and looked back at the man she considered the closest thing to a father she would ever know. "Thank you, for doing this," she said, as she walked forward.
Don nodded, holding out his arm, which she linked with hers, and the two began walking towards the small group waiting for them. He had been incredibly humbled when she had asked him to walk her down the aisle – not that there really was an aisle, but the principle was the same.
Elliot couldn't help but gasp as he watched his soon-to-be wife walk towards him. She looked so beautiful, and she was all his. His face lit up, and he watched hers do the same, their eyes locking and emitting an almost tangible heat of burning passion. No one could mistake the love in their gazes.
Olivia let go of Don's arm, handing her bouquet to Maureen, who took it with a watery smile, as the detective turned to look at her almost-husband.
The priest took a moment to look around at the small group, before he began. "We are gathered here, today, to join two souls in the sacred bond of matrimony. Elliot and Olivia have chosen to write their own vows, being of the belief that only they can truly say how they feel. Elliot?"
Elliot smiled. "Twelve years, eight months, eleven days ago, I went to work to find I had been given a new partner. She was a stubborn, hard-headed, badass, and I was so sure she wouldn't last more than a week. Twelve years, eight months, two days ago, I started to fall in love. I was married, had a family, but I couldn't help myself. Olivia, it barely took a week for you to become my reason for waking up every morning, my reason for going to work, my reason for breathing. It may have taken us twelve years to get to where we are, but we did it. And I don't need tealeaves or a crystal ball to know that what we have is real. 'Till death do us part. And I promise you that, forever."
They all had tears in their eyes by the end of Elliot's vow. The priest turned slightly. "Olivia?"
Olivia took a deep breath, gaze still locked with Elliot, as she smiled. "In all my life, I never thought I would be so lucky, as to fall in love with my best friend. For twelve years, we've worked together, side by side, every day; and for eleven years, I watched you go home to another life, though it killed me inside. This last year has been like a dream, and I don't ever want to wake up. You've included me in your family, and that's something I never really had a chance to experience before. I love you, El, I have since the moment you stopped being a jerk about having to deal with a female partner." There was a collective chuckle at that. "It won't be easy, and there will be times – more times – when we want to kill each other, but it'll be all right. Because when you find the person you're meant to be with, none of that matters. Forever and always, Elliot Stabler. You're stuck with me."
They all laughed again, and the priest waited until it died down before continuing. "Elliot Stabler, do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Elliot replied, smiling down at his partner.
The priest nodded, and turned to Olivia. "Olivia Benson, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Olivia responded, grinning through the tears.
With a nod, the priest looked to the two standing closest to the couple. Elliot turned around and took the ring from Dickie, his best man. When he turned back, the priest kept speaking. "Elliot, will you place the ring on Olivia's finger, and repeat after me: with this ring, I thee wed."
Elliot complied, and when the ring was in place, he held onto her hand, squeezing tightly for a moment longer, before Olivia let go, turning around to take the ring from Maureen, her maid of honor. She repeated after the priest, and before she knew it, he was saying the words she had been waiting months for: "By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
Needing no further encouragement, Elliot leaned down and captured Olivia's lips in a gentle and loving kiss. It continued past what some might consider 'appropriate' in their present company, but the second their lips touched, the world seemed to disappear around them.
The kiss lasted almost a full minute, before the pair broke apart, to find twelve sets of eyes watching them, expressions ranging from pleasantly amused, to full-on grins, to familial pride.
The next few minutes were full of congratulations, and the group began making their way back to their cars. For such a small wedding, they had planned an equally small reception; it really wasn't even that, just a room rented out at a nice restaurant with a live band, good food, and each other's company.
Olivia sighed contentedly as she leaned in to her husband, swaying in time to the music. This whole day had been perfect.
"Happy?" Elliot asked, resting his chin on top of her head as they danced.
"Mmhmm," Olivia breathed, closing her eyes as she smiled. She would never get tired of just how right it felt, being in Elliot's arms.
The two continued to move, oblivious to the small group around them, all watching with smiles on their faces. Fin and Melinda moved out to the dance floor, their faces the same mask of contentment as the newly married couple. Casey offered her hand to Dickie, while Munch made the same offer to Maureen, and Cragen to Kathleen. Lizzie picked Eli up and brought him out onto the dance floor, Alex following; the two swung the youngest child around, smiling at his delighted cries.
Elliot looked around at his children, feeling the warmth bubble in his chest at the sight. Everyone was happy. He felt Olivia grimace a little, and looked down in concern. "What's wrong?" he asked, suddenly worried.
Olivia looked up, smiling at his concern, alleviating most of his fears. "I'm fine," she assured him, resting a hand over her almost six month baby bump. "I think someone just wants to say hi to daddy."
Elliot grinned, resting his hand over hers, feeling the flutters and marveling at the tiny life form growing there. That feeling never got old. "Are you sure you're not too tired? We could sit down."
Olivia shook her head. "Really, El, I just want to dance with my husband tonight."
Elliot nodded, understanding, and pulled her close again.
Both detectives relaxed in each other's company. It had taken a long time to get to where they were, but they had made it, against all odds. Not to say that the hard part was over, not by a long shot. Elliot and Olivia were way too similar for that. They were stubborn, and pigheaded, and obstinate. At times, they would want to kill each other. But both knew that they would never want anything easier. After all, it's not worth winning if you don't have to fight for it.
So I think on an episode of Rescue Me, I learned that it's a sin for the Catholic church to marry people outside, but this is how I saw the wedding, so I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I'm Jewish, so I don't really know anything about the Catholic faith.
Once again, thank you to all my readers and reviewers. You guys are what made me buckle down and finish this.